Saturday 20 January 2018

In name of 1916, Orange Order marches into history

Maurice Hayes

Maurice Hayes

It was decidedly challenging, perhaps some may think even a little cheeky for the Orange Order to march into Leinster House invoking the 1916 Proclamation and daring the Government and the representatives of the citizens of the Republic to deliver on the promise to cherish all the children of the nation equally.

There are volumes to be written about the emptiness of even the noblest political rhetoric, about the notion of equality, and even about the nature and composition of the nation that is being invoked, but that the question should be asked at all is a refreshing departure from the frozen silences of an historic dialogue of the deaf where people emerged from their ideological and cultural bunkers only to hurl abuse at each other (and often worse).

Not that there was much of a march either, no bands or bowler hats, the Boyne remembered, but not sung, as the delegation slipped quietly in, past the statue of past royalty artfully concealed in the shrubbery, not a protester on Leinster Lawn, and nothing but a warm welcome inside.

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